Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) is a native of Brazil. Not at all like the familiar desert cactus, Christmas cactus is tropical, spineless and it blooms in trailing flowers. It requires long periods of darkness at night, in the fall, to bloom for Christmas. Pruning the Christmas cactus after it blooms is an important part of its care. The removed stems, as long as they contain at least two sections, can be rooted in water.
Place the cutting, cut end down, in a container of water. The water should cover at least two nodes on the cutting.
Place the container in a bright area that receives indirect sunlight.
Allow the Christmas cactus to grow roots that are the same length as the cutting before transplanting it into soil.
Transplant the Christmas cactus into a pot containing 2 parts potting soil combined with 1 part of sand or vermiculite. Water it and place it in a bright area that remains at least 21.1 degrees C in the daytime and 15.5 to 18.3 degrees C at night.
Treat the Christmas cactus as you do your other houseplants and not as you would a standard cactus. Fertilise it monthly, April through October, with a standard houseplant fertiliser, and water it when the soil is almost completely dry.
Things you need
- Planting pot
- Potting soil
- Sand or vermiculite
- Houseplant fertiliser